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Monday, April 28, 2014


Art by Oss

This is just going to be a quick little ditty about some art pieces that we have around our house that we made ourselves.  I made the candle above by taking yellow Basic Grey paper wrapping it around the candle then adding some details with paper flowers and additional paper.  The chain actually is from an old pair of shoes I had that were worn out.  I purchased the candle stand from Michaels out of their holiday decor collection.  The little yellow vase was my mother's from while she was in college.  






This art piece was inspired by an Ethan Allen painting I saw a few years back. The Ethan Allen painting was square and HUGE therefore very unpractical for a small home.  I used stretchy cord dipped in black paint then rolled it across the canvas while stretched from side to side.  Below is a better image showing the texture of the technique.  I think that the blobs of paint look like little birds sitting on the power wires that hang in the country and other times I think it looks like a birch tree.  





























This piece of art was an interpretation of an art piece created by a friend of mine.  I struggled to come up with some inspirational quote to put on this pallet for awhile until I decided that I would rather wake up in the morning and be greeted with humor everyday instead of some serious quote that requires deep thought.  It also gives us the chance to call out our love for dogs. Tor made the pallet for me.  I stained it and then applied the hinge that hangs on the top corner.  The hinge is from my parents' old cellar door on the farm. Some of you may laugh thinking I spelled "hineys" incorrectly, but I chose this spelling because it is how the quote is spelled on so I assumed it may be how it was actually spelled in the original script of "Dumb & Dumber". This spelling is an alternate spelling of the word, but does actually exist in the dictionary.  

Monday, April 28, 2014


Family Finds

We may have a small home, but we have a big family and wanted to incorporate touches of our heritage throughout the house.  You will find that clearly I do much of the decorating because my family is highly represented in this post… (ok it is all my family). The milk can has a profound significance in showcasing my family history.  My father's family has farmed the homestead for somewhere around 100 years or better.  I really should look this actual number up because it is quite remarkable.  My great-grandfather Alfred was a good hardworking man of modest means that loved his family. This milk can belonged to him.  You can see the "A.N." etched into the can between the handles.  



My mother used to spend a lot of time crafting.  She would make Christmas ornaments, Scandinavian Nisses, and pottery.  These two vases were made by her at a time when yellow was the color of the season… the 70's!  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we used yellow as an accent color in our master bedroom and these two vases served as the inspiration.  I love waking up to such simplicity in our home design, but turning over in bed and instantly being reminded of family through the small elements we used in our decorating.  







This piece of art has a lot of story behind it.  This stain-glassed window came out of the house my family built when they came from Norway.  My brother recently purchased the home from my parents and has been working to fix it up. He replaced all of the windows in the home to help reduce the cost to heat the massive farm home in the winter and in doing so replaced this one in the process.  He held on to it for a little while and asked me if I would want to use it in our home since we were in the midst of remodeling as well.  I of course accepted within seconds of the offer and began thinking through how I could best showcase it.  My father-in-law is a very skilled handy man who loves to maintain family heritage.  He jumped at the opportunity to help build a frame for this window. He used poplar wood for it's very fine grain and ability to accept paint well.  


The next part of this window's story is to explain this huge crack.  When we were kids, my siblings and cousins would often get together to play at grandma's house.  My brother was playing baseball with my two older cousins when one of them hit a ball right into the window.  Grandma wasn't all that pleased of course, but the window held up!






These items have a story as well. The clock is from an old cabin we used to have on my family property in Iowa. My brother was tearing it down when I found it, cleaned it up and brought it home. The jar is full of Grandma Pennies.  My maternal grandmother, Lillian, collected coins.   My mother and her sisters realized after Lillian's passing that they would find one whenever they prayed to their mom. My mom shared this story with me while shopping for a prom dress.  I was having a hard time finding a dress I liked when I commented to my mother that if Lillian were around she would have made me any dress I wanted (Lillian was a great seamstress).  Right then I found a penny. I picked it up and told my mom.  She told me the story and said that Lillian was just saying that she is still there for us.   Since that day about 12 years ago, I have collected my Grandma Pennies and stored them in this jar.  (Tor did take them once to try to weigh down the bobber in our toilet… Lillian must have been watching over me that day too because I caught him just seconds before all of my pennies went into the toilet tank!) This guy is special too.  I carved this little man when I was in undergrad as part of my Scandinavian Woodcrafts class at Luther College.  It took me 17 hours to do this and I named him Merv after my grandpa.  I gave it to him as a Christmas gift back in 2005.  My step grandma gave him back to me when my grandpa passed in 2007. He now sits on my desk.  


Here is a collection of photographs that we have above our fireplace.  They are each individually special, but I have selected a few in particular to call out here.  














This picture is of my Great Grandparents Alfred and Anna Naley. Alfred is the one that owned the milk can pictured above and Anna is who I was named after.  
















This picture is of my Grandma Lillian who sends me her love through the pennies.  I can see a little of her in all of my family.  I have never heard anything but amazing stories about her and only wish I could have met her.  


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